Computing and statistical data analysis: remote login info

There are a number of ways to log in to the RHUL linux cluster. Hopefully one of the options below will work for you.

Logging into linappserv0:

Once you have access to a unix environment (e.g. using one of the methods below), from the unix prompt type:

ssh -X

where of course you put your username before the @. Remember that everything is case sensitive. You will be prompted for your password. If this works you should get a prompt that looks like:


And you're in! To exit, type exit. Now to get access to a unix environment in the first place, try one of the methods below.

From a Macintosh:

First you need to have Xquartz installed on your mac, which you can get from here. Then just start a terminal window (app is in Applications->Utilities->Terminal).

Using mobaXterm on your own computer:

You can download and install mobaXterm from here. The home version is free and appears to have all of the capability we need. You need to download the "installer" (not the "portable") version.

Using cygwin on your own computer:

You can download and install cygwin from here. I've copied some more information on how to install it into the file here, but it is difficult to keep this up to date. Cygwin can be complicated and it may be best to use a more lightweight solution such as mobaxterm.

Using Xming on your own computer:

You can download and install the x-windows server Xming on your own PC. It is available free here. This allows you to open an x-window and from there to login to other unix machines using ssh. I have had some difficulty with this and prefer mobaxterm (see above).

From the RHUL teaching lab using PuTTY/Xming:

For 2017 the preferred option if you want to work from the PCs in the RHUL teaching lab is the following:
  • From the PCs in the teaching lab first start Xming: All Programs -> Physics -> Xming -> Xming . This may (or may not) make a black x in the task bar.
  • Then run PuTTY (to find the program just type putty in the program search window). This will bring up a window with options. Enter the host name:
  • Then on the left click on the "+" next to SSH to reveal its options; from there click on X11 and put a check by "Enable X11 forwarding".
  • Click the "open" button; then enter your linappserv1 username and password when prompted.
  • You're in! To test that an x-window can be sent back to you, try starting a x-based application, e.g., type: xclock &
  • From the RHUL teaching lab using cygwin:

    The first bench of computers in the RHUL teaching lab (closest to the door) should have cygwin installed (might work on all PCs).
  • From the start menu go to Academic applications -> Physics -> RXvt -> XWin Server. You may see an "X" appear in the task bar (or it may be hidden). If a terminal window opens up, just close it.
  • From the same menu, select this time rxvt-native. This will open up a terminal window.
  • Login to linappserv1 using: ssh -X (I think -Y does essentially the same as -X. Either of these allows you to open up a separate X-window once you're logged in. If this doesn't work, try -XY or -XYC)
  • You're in! To test that an x-window can be sent back to you, try starting a x-based application, e.g., type: xclock &
  • From the RHUL teaching lab using Exceed:

    NB This no longer appears to work from RHUL -- please use cygwin

    Most of computers in the RHUL teaching lab except the ones on the bench closest to the door should have Exceed installed.

  • Start Exceed by going from the start menu to Current applications -> Hummingbird Connectivity -> Exceed -> Exceed. Exceed will start and display its logo, and maybe a toolbar that you can ignore (or close).
  • Start Putty by going to Current Applications -> Putty -> Putty. This will bring up the PuTTY configuration window.
  • From the column on the left under SSH, click on X11. Then click the box next to "Enable X11 forwarding" as shown here.
  • From the top of the column on the left, click on Session. Enter for the host name as shown here. The protocol SSH should be selected.
  • Click on Open. This should bring up a terminal window on linappserv0 where you can log in. If it asks you to accept some security warning, click on "yes" to do so. As mentioned above you can test that the x-windows can be sent back by starting an x-based application, e.g., type: xclock &
  • Note that the main difference between Xming and cygwin is that cygwin provides a complete emulated unix environment on a windows computer. Xming will simply allow you to create e.g. an x-windows terminal window (an xterm) and from there you connect to another linux machine with ssh.

    Transfering files to linappserv0:

    For some of the course exercises it may be necessary to download files from the web and then to transfer these files to the RHUL linux cluster,

    First a warning: when you download a text file, e.g., a C++ source file, from the web to a Windows machine, Windows may place the suffice ".txt" on the end. You don't want this and if it gets put on you should rename the file to get rid of the .txt suffix.

    To transfer files from a PC to linappserv0 you can use the program ftp or one of its variants (sftp, psftp, WinSCP3). From RHUL the following appears to work:

  • From the teaching lab PC, right-click on the folder (or file) that you want to transfer; select "send to", then select "WinSCP3 (uploading using SFTP or SCP)". This will bring up a window with a bunch of fields to fill in.
  • Enter the host name, your username and password. Accept the other default settings and click on "login".
  • If a window appears asking whether you want to trust the remote computer, answer yes ("accept host key" or similar).
  • Another window will appear asking where you want the files to go -- you can either accept the default or supply a new target destination.
  • It should also be possible to use psftp via PUTTY; but from the RHUL computers I couldn't get this to work. If anyone has better luck with this please let us know.

    Update -- thanks to Andy for the following recipes using OpenSSH's secure copy, SCP (substitute your username appropriately):

    scp myfile

    or to transfer from the server back to my laptop:

    scp ./

    This works on Mac OSX, Ubuntu Linux and on Windows. WinSCP is available here:

    It comes with OSX and Linux as standard. You can transfer entire directories too. To the server:

    scp -r myfolder

    From the server:

    scp -r ./

    Glen Cowan